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Bichon Frise

A docile companion (other names: Bichon, Poil Fris, Tenerife Dog)

Bichon Frise
origin:Mediterranean Region
life expectancy:14 years
classification:Gun dog
height:23 to 30 cm
weight:3 to 7 kg
exercise: Mediumtraining: Easyclimate: Coldin/out: Indoorgrooming: Needs groomingfeeding: Mediumsize: Small
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History [ edit ]

The Bichon Frisé (French, literally Curly lap dog) is a small breed that is the size of a large domestic cat. The origins of this dog go back to the 14th century and although uncertain,  it is reasonably clear that it comes from the Mediterranean region as result from a cross between the Barbet or Water Spaniel (from which came the name "Barbichon", later shortened to "Bichon") and the Poodle.  The Bichon Frisé is nowadays the best known member of the bichon dog family. The breed was traded by the Spanish sailors, to Tenerife (Canary Islands) and France where it became a royal favourite as a lap dog. It was also used as an organ grinder´s dog and a circus performer. The Bichon Frisé was also very appreciated in Spain being depicted by Goya in some of his paintings. In Norway, farmers have recently started giving the Bichon a not commonly breed use: that of rounding up sheep, but, today, and despite its versatility,  the Bichon Frise is primarily a show dog  and a companion.

editing: History [ close ]
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General Appearance [ edit ]

The Bichon Frise is a small, sturdy, vivacious and charming puffball of a dog, dazzlingly white in colour. Self-assured as any dog can be, its  merry temperament is obvious from its plumed tail, set on level with the topline, which is carried jauntily over the back. The body is slightly longer than tall with a topline that is level except for a slight, muscular arch over the loin. The chest is well developed and wide enough to allow free movement of the front legs. The rib cage is moderately sprung and extends back to a short and muscular loin. Legs are of medium bone, straight, with no bow or curve in the forearm or wrist, with nails generally white. Slightly rounded head, slightly accentuated stop  and a properly balanced muzzle. The nose is proeminent and always black. The black or dark brown eyes are round, with dark rims, and are set in the skull to look directly forward . They are soft but inquisitive and alert eyes. The  ears are drooping and well covered with hair. The tail is curved over the dog’s back or hangs limp when the dog is relaxed. The Bichon Frise has a double coat consisting of a coarser and curlier textured outercoat lined with a soft, dense, fine, and  silky undercoat. As the Bichon Frise t does not shed, it is virtually hypo-allergenic.The Bichon frise is white, but as a puppy it can have apricot on it.

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Temperament [ edit ]

Bichons are intelligent, affectionate, gentle mannered, bold and lively little dogs, with a cheerful disposition, and demonstrate an inquisitive personality.Though an independent spirit, the Bichon Frise is naturally sociable, loves human company and is happiest when it is close to their owners regardless of the activity. They are easy to train although females tend to be a little more stubborn. Generally they get along well with other dogs (particularly of the same breed), but they may become territorial, and sometimes jealous of the attention given to other household animals. However, when duly socialized,they are good company to other household animals. Being very active, these little dogs love playing and enjoy family games which, coupled with their cheerful attitude makes them excellent children playmates.They can be used  as watchdogs and handlers will find them competitive and obedient when asked to perform tricks.

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Health [ edit ]

The Bichon Frise  is a healthy breed. Special care should be taken to keep their face clean and avoid that mucus and eye discharge accumulate in the fur that grows in front of their eyes and that could cause eye problems. They are prone to cataracts and luxating patellas.

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Dog trivia [ edit ]

The Bichon Frise displays a trait called the "Bichon Buzz" or the "5 mad minutes"- suddenly, without any apparent reason,  the Bichon will put its ears back, start growling and run feverishly around in obstacle-course fashion.

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